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The Ending Of Sniper: Ghost Shooter Explained

The military action thriller Sniper: Ghost Shooter may not be the most recent film in the Sniper franchise, but it is the installment that is currently taking Netflix by storm. The movie follows Gunnery Sergeant Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins). He's part of an elite team of Marine snipers that has been tapped to assist with the security of an Austrian businessman, Killian Grun (Nigel Barber), who is working on a massive energy deal involving a Georgian oil pipeline.

This type of assignment should be a breeze. But Beckett isn't exactly feeling on sure footing. Early in the film, he and his team are working to neutralize a terrorist cell before they can execute some hostages. When Beckett sees that the person he's meant to take out is a child, he hesitates and blows his team's cover. The mission is saved, but not without unnecessary casualties.

After getting debriefed by their NATO contact, Robin Slater (Stephanie Vogt), the team heads off to provide cover for Grun's motorcade as it travels through a potentially hostile area. Sure enough, insurgent leader Ravshan Gazakov (Velislav Pavlov) has prepared an ambush.

In the ensuing firefight, Beckett's team suffers several casualties. While everyone else chalks the deaths up to bad luck, Beckett is convinced that the team's location was given away by a mole inside the operation. Unfortunately for him, none of his superiors agree.

As the mission continues, Beckett finds himself in a race against time to figure out who has been leaking information and how to stop them. Here's how it all plays out in the explosive ending of Sniper: Ghost Shooter.

Beckett learns some lessons in exile

After the motorcade ambush, Beckett confronts the liaison for the Georgian army, Colonel Sergei Babayev (Vladimir Kolev). He says that the only way his well-hidden team members could have been shot was if someone under Babayev's command — or Babayev himself — gave Gazakov the team's location. The fact that none of the Georgian personnel were killed during the ambush only fuels his suspicion.

Beckett's accusations aren't taken kindly. He's quite literally put on ice and sent to a station in a remote part of the Caucasus mountains to lend a hand to a security force paid to protect the pipeline.

It's there that he meets Zotov (Ravil Isyanov), a former Soviet soldier turned gun for hire who also happened to know Beckett's father (who is a prominent character in the Sniper franchise). Beckett bonds with his temporary comrade while they run patrols, and eventually Zotov tells Beckett a story about a time that he hesitated while on duty. Just like Beckett, Zotov once had a target who was a child, and his hesitancy in firing led to several of his fellow soldiers dying.

In Zotov's eyes, a good sniper must lose their humanity to do the job and shoot without hesitation. When he explains his philosophy, Beckett looks down, as though he doesn't want to believe it's true.

Later, their base is ambushed, leading to an intense firefight. One of the men that Beckett had grown friendly with turns traitor and tries to give his position away to the insurgents. This time, Beckett listens to his instincts and doesn't hesitate to kill the man. Although getting sent to the mountains was meant to be a punishment, it ends up boosting Beckett's confidence and giving him the resolve he needs to see his theory through to the end.

The secrets of Gazakov's intel are revealed

In order to help Beckett find out if there really is a mole in the Georgian army, Zotov sets him up to meet with a man named Mothershed (Navid Negahban), who will take him to Gazakov. Beckett plans to trade the remains of Gazakov's brother-in-law, a fellow insurgent who was killed in one of the firefights, for the identity of the source who has been feeding Gazakov information.

They locate Gazakov, but the insurgent leader refuses to admit that he's receiving outside help. Beckett isn't convinced. However, his suspicions move away from a possible mole in the Georgian army when he notices one of Gazakov's men using a particular type of computer and satellite uplink. Before he can learn anything else, the meeting is interrupted by a drone strike and Beckett returns to base.

He explains his new theory to his superiors, which is that the high-tec computer the insurgents are using is allowing them to hack into the operation's drone network. That would explain how the insurgents knew exactly where the team's snipers were positioned.

Even though Beckett is compelling, Robin insists that it isn't possible. She's someone who only goes by evidence that's in front of her face, or, as she says in another scene, "I trust zeroes and ones." In many ways, she and Beckett have totally opposite approaches. He goes by his instincts and his gut, while she makes decisions based on the data. So, it's no surprise that she remains skeptical of his claims.

Unfortunately for her, Beckett's hunch is correct. On their next outing, the team is once again ambushed by a group of insurgents who know exactly what their position is. Beckett is now more convinced of his theory than ever. And he'll soon get the chance to test it.

Beckett's instincts are put to the test

Satellite imagery shows that Gazakov's insurgents are moving to attack a pipeline facility, so Beckett and his team are sent to stop them. But Beckett believes that the satellites have been hacked and that it's all a set up so that the insurgents can attack their real target, the pumping station being used as a field command and safehouse for Grun. This time, he manages to convince one of his superiors, Major Richard Miller (Billy Zane), to take him seriously.

Beckett's instincts turn out to be spot on. Before the team can return, the insurgents descend on the pumping station to carry out their bait and switch attack. Thankfully, Beckett's team arrives in time to stop them and take out Gazakov once and for all.

After the firefight, Miller commends Beckett for his actions. Miller is an old guard, and just like Zotov, he knew Beckett's father back in the day. He tells Beckett, "Long time ago, I told your father all he had was killing. I was wrong. He had courage and he had grit. You are your father's son, Gunny."

Beckett's journey throughout the film is one of learning to listen to his instincts. Miller's praise of his courage and grit is a reward for doing just that. Throughout the film, he received advice from others that ran contradictory to that message, whether it was Zotov's encouragement to suppress his humanity or Robin's insistence on seeing the data before making any decisions.

There may be times when those types of cold and analytical approaches are necessary. However, in this case, it was Beckett's gut instincts that ended up saving the day.